Is it legal?

As the IPTV business grows, so do the legal questions.

Many of the shows customers are watching are intended to be watched by paying subscribers to cable or streaming services that have struck distribution deals with the owners of the content.

Canada’s Copyright Act prohibits unauthorized downloading of copyrighted content. But viewers using an IPTV box  are only streaming, not downloading material.

So is it legal or not?

It’s difficult to answer this question definitively, but from a user standpoint (rather than those selling loaded boxes) Canadian law seems to permit streaming content without infringing on copyright. This is how Internet and e-commerce law expert Michael Geist explains the situation in a Toronto Star article:

“The law exempts temporary reproductions of copyrighted works if completed for technical reasons. Since most streaming video does not actually involve downloading a copy of the work (it merely creates a temporary copy that cannot be permanently copied), users can legitimately argue that merely watching a non-downloaded stream does not run afoul of the law.”

With little precedence involving streaming, the legality of accessing unauthorized sources is still murky. Those who use a VPN to geo-block their location when streaming content (whether via Kodi or to access American Netflix or services like Hulu) might think that’s a loophole, but that’s not completely clear at this point either.

Our Mag 254 IPTV box has been modified to not allow any content to be downloaded to an external device of any kind.  While some offer a PVR service we do not.